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Friday, September 13, 2013
Barry Bonds ready to serve sentence

ESPN.com news services

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds says he wants to immediately start serving his sentence after a federal appeals court upheld his obstruction-of-justice conviction.

The former Giants slugger says in a statement on his website that he's disappointed with Friday's ruling. But he told his attorneys he wants to immediately begin serving his sentence of 30 days of house arrest and two years of probation.

Bonds says he still intends to seek further judicial review "of the important legal issues presented by the appeal."

"This has been a long and difficult chapter in my life and I look forward to moving beyond it once I have fulfilled the penalties ordered by the court," Bonds said.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that Bonds' 2003 grand jury testimony was "evasive" and hindered investigators' probe into into a performance-enhancing-drug ring centered at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, better known as BALCO.

Like several other prominent athletes who testified before the grand jury, Bonds was granted immunity from criminal prosecution as long as he testified truthfully. But after Bonds repeatedly denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs -- he testified he thought he was taking flax seed oil and other legal supplements -- prosecutors charged him with obstruction and with making false statements.

Bonds was asked whether his trainer, Greg Anderson, had ever injected him with a substance, and he replied by discussing the difficulties of being the son of a famous father. Bonds' father is former major leaguer Bobby Bonds.

The jury deadlocked on three other counts that Bonds made false statements stemming from his denial that he knowingly used drugs, and those charges were later dismissed.

Bonds was sentenced to house arrest and probation after his 2011 trial. Prosecutors had sought a 15-month prison sentence.

The three-judge appeals court panel Friday rejected Bonds' argument that his rambling testimony didn't amount to felony obstruction. Bonds' appellate attorney, Dennis Riordan, argued that Bonds' answer was, in fact, true: He felt the pressure of being a child of a celebrity. But Judge Mary Schroeder said that didn't matter. She said it was obvious Bonds meant to mislead -- and obstruct -- the grand jury's investigation into his use of performance-enhancing drugs, often called PEDs. 

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.